Civil organisations launch online services to replace liquidated NGOs, as democratic forces support the topic of new elections on the agenda
Adapting to continuing repressive conditions, civil society organisations are developing online services to maintain engagement with audiences. Democratic forces are trying to prevent the Lukashenka regime from using the migration crisis to distract society and Western capitals from the overarching Belarusian political turmoil.
Democratic organisations and independent media maintain a joint position that overcoming the Belarusian political crisis remains the most critical objective. A survey by German sociologists from ZoiS suggests that 53% of Belarusians support holding new elections in the first half of 2021 as the most acceptable resolution to the current crisis.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian regime is endeavouring to shift the focus of public attention to the migration crisis. Discussion of the migrant issue is growing both within civil society organisations and on social networks. The attitude of Belarusian society to migrants remains quite conservative (both among supporters of change and regime loyalists), resulting in a predominantly negative consensus regarding Lukashenka’s actions.
Maintaining high-level contacts, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya attended meetings with German President Steinmeier and with members of the Bundestag, discussed vaccines with European Commissioner Wargely, and spoke with Polish President Duda in connection with the migration crisis.
Human rights activists continue to focus international organisations’ attention on the repression of dissidents, as the UN demands the immediate release of Siarhei Tsikhanouski with compensation.
Some political organisations are concerned that there is still no unified opposition position regarding the upcoming constitutional referendum and are trying to ensure that the topic does not slip off the agenda.
Civil society organisations and initiatives continue to create new online services to expand their audience, including Donar promoting the national democratic agenda and Belarusian language and culture, LegalHub legal literacy, and support for Belarusian business abroad. Many of these services are run by teams from Belarusian organisations that were liquidated and forced to relocate during the mass sweep of civil society.